Caption: Justin Olam tackling team-mate Bernard Konnie during the Prime Ministers XIII training on Tuesday.
By FIDELIS SUKINA
SIZE and experience may be a disadvantage but NGCB PNG PM’s XIII is sure to bring on a great game against a tough Australian PMs IIIX side.
The loss of 3 NRL players, Nene Macdonald, David Mead and Rhys Martin all transiting to new clubs does not deter the team’s hopes with 20 players still available for the clash on Saturday.
NGCB PMs IIIX coach Michael Marum stated the obvious saying the Australians were bigger and more experienced.
He said working with Mal Meninga was different when Meninga was the PNG Kumuls coach saying that whatever tactics he used was different from the ones he would be using for the match.
“I worked with Mal for two years, he is brining up a strong team with professional players we don’t really have the same type of players our Digicel Cup and Intrust Super Cup players are really not at that level yet we just want to go out and enjoy the game,” he said.
He said the team’s most important task was to work on the defense and that was the key at the moment.
Marum said players had the potential to defend against the NRL players and he had faith in Justin Olam and other players to hold on against the likes of Greg Inglis.
“The Australian PM’s 13 are big guys and we are really working hard on our defense we cant match them in size but we do have some good exciting players in the team. We think Olam can match Greg Inglis and he has proved himself in the season not only Justin but the 19 players in the team as well,” he said.
Marum said the fitness level of the players was a concern but they were fairing well in training. Marum was happy with their fitness test on Sunday and said a physiotherapist was flown in to monitor the teams’ fitness.
“Some of the Digicel Cup players haven’t played in a while they didn’t know they were selected after the season ended but we had a fitness test on Sunday and I am happy with the results we just have to really prepare hard for the game,” he said.
“Yeah we have more players doing their debut doing a full medical tonight (Tuesday) and we have a physio from Brisbane and he will be working with the boys in the few remaining days before the game
“We just want to concentrate on the training on our defense especially they are big guys, we watched a few videos yesterday with the U16 as well and we are all excited there will be a big crowd.”